A Quadcopter From Scratch: FPV Upgrade

It has been a while since I was thinking about upgrading my drone to a first person view version aka FPV. The idea was placing a camera for video streaming in real time. My first attempt was with a small raspi board and streaming image data from a raspi camera via WiFi. Because of the latency, range, and complicated setup this solution was not very practical. Therefore, I decided to make a "real" FPV drone.

A Quadcopter From Scratch

Recently NASA has made the first powered flight on Mars. They have deployed a drone called Ingenuity costing about $85 million. The helicopter was able to fly on about ten meters altitude (as of May, 7) over the surface of the Red Planet. Coincidently, I have also built a flying drone. This looked like a good challenge and an opportunity to learn about unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). Here is what I learned.

3D Printing Tutorial: Designing a Micro Drone Frame

Here is a step by step tutorial on how to design objects for 3D printing using OpenSCAD. We illustrate the design process by creating a micro quadcopter frame. This small drone bears the code name of Beatle-1. After following the tutorial you will be able to conceive your own designs for 3D printing.

Making Your Self-Driving Robot

We will build an autonomous robot. Captured by robot's camera, video stream will be analyzed by a neural network. The network will be running on the onboard Raspberry Pi that will steer the robot. Before you start with the project, I want you to answer two questions. First, how everything will be attached mechanically? Second, what will be the energy source? While your autonomous robot can work from a cardboard box, having a mechanically sound chassis will greatly improve the result on the AI training stage.

Connecting To Raspberry Pi Over WiFi

Raspberry Pi is great. It is a small and cheap computer that can be used for a variety of projects. Sometimes you may wish to remotely control a Rasperry Pi that is in your local WiFi network. This is possible and even quite easy. We will use a Secure Shell aka SSH to establish a remote connection. I assume that you have previously connected your Raspberry Pi board to a WiFi network.